The truth is more painful than guilt

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Wow 24/7 - Ar­rowood Laura McHugh Cen­tury £12.99

A young woman re­turn­ing to her spooky old an­ces­tral home years af­ter a tragedy may sound like a B-movie hor­ror plot, but this tal­ented writer turns it into a lyri­cally haunt­ing story.

It’s so at­mo­spheric you­can­prac­ti­cally hear the floor­boards creek and the wa­ter gur­gling in the old plumb­ing of Ar­rowood, the de­cay­ing house on the banks of the Mis­sis­sippi as home­com­ingAr­den­pull­s­thesheet­soffthe old fur­ni­ture her­grand-par­ents left be­hind. Mem­o­ries of the hor­ror she has tried to es­cape sur­round her like fall­ing dust. Ar­den seems to have fled Coloradoand­a­ban­doned­her­his­tory stud­ies for rea­sons other than the urge to claim her in­her­i­tance, al­though she needs an­swer­stowhathap­pened17years ago. She was just eight and ‘in charge’ of her two-year-old twin sis­ters when­sheleft­the­mon­the front lawn­foraminute, only to look round and see them be­ing driven off­bya­man­i­nacar. The girls were never found and the prime sus­pect was never charged. Now a true-crime writer wants to help Ar­den get to the truth, but that could­beeven­more­painful thanguilt in this mes­meris­ing tale. Re­view by Janet McK­ech­nie. Which river runs past the house? En­tries to Alex Gor­don, Ar­rowood com­pe­ti­tion by Au­gust 25.

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